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Karl Rove's Campaign Tactics: Glitz, Intimidation and No Substance - Even in High School!

Reported by Marie Therese - October 23, 2006 -

Karl Rove, Olympus High School, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1968
The Child is the Father of the Man. - William Wordsworth

This morning on FOX & Friends Steve Doocy launched a segment on Karl Rove, saying: "White House advisor Karl Rove says the Republicans will hold the House and the Senate in the midterm elections despite close poll numbers. Does the GOP mastermind have something up his sleeve?" (As he said this, thoughts of corrupted Diebold voting machines danced through my head!) Doocy and co-host Gretchen Carlson then introduced John Sorensen, who ran for high school senate against Karl Rove - and lost - due in large part to a campaign stunt.

GRETCHEN CARLSON: I guess being a former competitor of Karl Rove, you might expect him to have something up his sleeve, based on past experiences?

JOHN SORENSEN: I would think so. He's a tough competitor, that's for sure.

STEVE DOOCY: ... Tell me about what happened when you were having a gymnasium debate and you had spoken and you had made your platform crystal clear to the student body ...


DOOCY: ... then here comes Karl. What happened?

SORENSEN: Well, basically, at that time they had removed the doors from the gymnasium. I was confident that I was going to win the election, since I was a class officer at that time. And in drives Karl in the back seat of a Volkswagen convertible with two of the most beautiful women next to him ...

DOOCY: 0h, John.

SORENSEN: ... with the peace sign - signaling the peace sign. He was - and the crowd just actually went euphoric (Doocy giggled) and at that point in time I realized that I lost the campaign. Prior to that I actually thought I'd won.

DOOCY: Uh-huh.


GRETCHEN CARLSON: And, John, the reason this was so alarming was because was Karl was known as sort of as a nerd in high school, was he not?

SORENSEN: Yes, he was. He was not the - uh - he did not have any athletic ability or - he was in the debate team and was not very well known at the time, so - he was very quiet, except for on the debate. He actually - um - no one really took him seriously.

DOOCY: Well, look at him now. I know that back then he was a non-Mormon in a Mormon town and I understand that, according to your report, he would carry a briefcase to school and wear three-piece suits when most kids didn't do that.

SORENSEN: That's correct. He did wear a three-piece suit and he did wear (sic) a briefcase and whenever he debated, he would bring in a large stack of 3x5 cards ...

DOOCY: Oh, man.

SORENSEN: ... to intimidate the - uh - whoever he was debating against.

CARLSON: He posed for a yearbook photo holding hands with the senior class president's girlfriend?!

SORENSEN: He actually grabbed - he actually grabbed her hand right before the photo shot.

DOOCY: You know what, John? Too bad you didn't become better friends. You might be President today.

SORENSEN: Obviously, the planets were not in alignment at that point in time.


The New York Daily News has more on this story, including quotes from other classmates of Rove's:

He had every social disadvantage imaginable," recalls Brian Moench, then Olympus' student body president. "Physically immature, no athletic ability, wasn't good with the girls, nothing."


Grooming his public image, he posed for a yearbook photo holding hands with Kathy Wagstaff-Emery, the senior class president's girlfriend. "I found Karl endearing, but he was too flippin' geeky," she recalls. "The truth is, Karl grabbed my hand just before the photo was taken."


A spokeswoman for the White House deputy chief of staff insists that Rove wore suits only to student senate meetings and didn't bring thousands of note cards. She had no comment on the VW Bug stunt.

"It was classic Karl, an inner cockiness tempered by a little self-deprecating humor," remembers [fellow classmate Carey] Jones. "He's making fun of himself and the campaign process while at the same time making good use of it." (Source: N. Y. Daily News, 10/19/06)

William Wordsworth was right. Look to the behaviors of childhood to see the behaviors of the adult.

Deceit, intimidation, hollow show.

Karl Rove's nerdy high school pranks certainly did foreshadow the tactics he would use time and again to eviscerate his opponents.

One wonders just what the Master Manipulator has up his sleeve as the October Surprise for this election cycle?

Will we bomb Iran? Bomb North Korea? Suddenly discover OBL's dead body?

Put on those thinking caps, charge the mental batteries and take your best shot.

What YOU think Rove will pull out of his nefarious bag of tricks in a last ditch effort to save the GOP's bacon this election cycle?

Anyone who guesses correctly will receive either a News Hounds baseball cap or a New Hounds mouse pad (your choice) as my consolation prize.

Why a "consolation prize"?

Because, unfortunately, if one of our readers really does win, it means Rove will have moved the country deeper into the darkness ....